California, United States of America
The following excerpt is from People v. Dekalb, A151343 (Cal. App. 2019):
We review the court's ruling for abuse of discretion. (People v. Kipp, (1998) 18 Cal.4th 349, 371 (Kipp).) "Evidence that a defendant has committed crimes other than those currently charged is not admissible to prove that the defendant is a person of bad character or has a criminal disposition; but evidence of uncharged crimes is admissible to prove, among other things, the identity of the perpetrator of the charged crimes, the
existence of a common design or plan, or the intent with which the perpetrator acted in the commission of the charged crimes. [Citation.]" (Id. at p. 369.) To establish relevance on the issue of intent, the uncharged crimes need only be " 'sufficiently similar [to the charged offenses] to support the inference that the defendant " 'probably harbor[ed] the same intent in each instance.' [Citations.]" ' " (Id. at p. 371.) "The least degree of similarity (between the uncharged act and the charged offense) is required in order to prove intent." (People v. Ewoldt (1994) 7 Cal.4th 380, 402.) Accordingly, numerous decisions have upheld the admission of prior burglaries as relevant to prove the defendant possessed the intent to steal. (People v. Rocha (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 1385, 1393 [citing collected cases].) We do so here, where the two burglaries were remarkably similar, and the question of defendant's mental state was the primary contested issue at trial.
The above passage should not be considered legal advice. Reliable answers to complex legal questions require comprehensive research memos. To learn more visit www.alexsei.com.